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“Providing replacement instruments through Music Rising will not only help the professional musicians to regain a foothold on their future, but will also ensure that one of the Gulf Coast's greatest assets, its music, will rise again."
——The Edge
THE EDGE INITIATES CAMPAIGN TO AID GULF COAST MUSICIANS
Music Rising Initiative Supported by Gibson, Guitar Center, MTV Networks Ticketmaster, Others and Administered by MusiCares
U2's The Edge announced on Monday the launch of Music Rising, a campaign to raise funds to replace the lost instruments and accessories of musicians affected by the hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast region two months ago. Lead partners Gibson Guitar and Guitar Center Music Education Foundation have spearheaded the initial effort by collaborating on the design, manufacture and sale of an exclusive Gibson guitar, which will be available through Guitar Center, with all proceeds going directly to the Music Rising program.

A limited number of Gibson Music Rising guitars will be produced, with all proceeds benefiting Music Rising and a pledge of $1 million in support. The instrument features hand-painted designs using the colors of Mardi Gras, and each guitar will be individually painted and handmade so no two will be alike. All of the usual plastic parts (back plate, pick guard, toggle cover and truss rod cover) have been replaced by woods from the states affected by the hurricanes, and the Music Rising logo, exclusive to this guitar, is etched into the pick guard.

The application and qualification process for musicians will be handled by MusiCares, which has already provided in excess of $1.5 million directly to more than 1,800 Gulf Coast music people. Fulfillment of the grants will be managed by online music retailer Musician's Friend

During the next few weeks, The Edge will appear in a series of PSAs highlighting the efforts of Music Rising, as well as giving interviews on the subject. The program organizers are calling to action every citizen and organization willing to help now and well beyond the initial launch. 

The Edge visited New Orleans last Thursday (11/17) between dates on U2's current tour dates, touring several neighborhoods and struggling venues. He spent time with local musicians, listening to their experiences and trying to understand their needs.

"My recent visit to New Orleans gave me a first-hand look at the devastation which tragically destroyed the lives of thousands," said the guitarist. "The area's rich and spirited culture must be restored and can be by assisting those musicians affected by the disaster, which in turn will bring back the essence of the regions. Providing replacement instruments through Music Rising will not only help the professional musicians to regain a foothold on their future, but will also ensure that one of the Gulf Coast's greatest assets, its music, will rise again." 

Added producer Bob Ezrin, who is leading the initiative with The Edge: "While government and business are concentrating on rebuilding the infrastructure of the region, artists and lovers of music from around the world can help to replace its heart. Once the music is playing, the people will once again have a reason to gather. We believe if they hear it, they will come."

Participating partners in Music Rising include MTV Networks, Ticketmaster, SpinCo Conn-Selmer instruments and Kennedy-Marshall, all of which have pledged their support through both financial and media contributions.  

In addition to the purchase of the Music Rising guitar, interested supporters can make tax-deductible contributions to Music Rising at www.musicrising.org or by sending a check made payable to Music Rising, c/o MusiCares Foundation, 3402 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA  90405.

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